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Posts Tagged ‘missing her’

Some things we hear stay with us for a long time. We might not understand them completely when we first hear them but we know they will come back at some point and we’ll understand completely.

Many years ago, one of my three brothers committed suicide. He left a wife and four children and then there were us, his siblings and parents. I won’t go into all of the feelings and thoughts that followed his death. That’s not where this story is going. At some point, not sure exactly when, I think it was about a month after his death, my sister-in-law started calling me in the mornings. We would chat about her feelings. I would let her talk and respond when appropriate. Sometimes we talked about silly things. There was always, as you can imagine, an underlying sadness to those calls. I soon learned that my brother used to call his wife at morning break every day and that was the time that they spent talking about the kids and feelings and stuff. It was their time with no kids around.

One of things that she was missing without him was the chance to tell him about what the kids were doing when he was at work. She said that it used to be that she could share the silly things the kids did that made her crack up and then things they did or said that made her proud. She said that as parents, they were the only ones that would understand those things. She could share the same things with other people but it would never be the same.

I thought about that a lot. I was a new mother then. My son wasn’t even a year old yet. I understood what she was saying because I used to fill my husband’s ears with all the things the baby did when he was at work. Every day he did something new and I shared that with him. Although I understood part of what my sister-in-law had said, I would understand it more and more as the years went by.

When my husband walked away from our family and turned the whole thing into a very hostile situation, I thought again about that conversation all those years before. I no longer had someone to share my day with and what the kids did and said or what they needed. He was out of the picture and inaccessible to me. It made me understand even more than before. Now, all these years after that original conversation in 1982, it has come right back to me.

For years, I used to talk to my mom on the phone and tell her all about the kids. When I moved far away, it became more important because we didn’t see her as often anymore. So the phone calls meant a lot. Then I moved further away and the grand kids arrived. For the last eleven years, many of our phone calls centered around sharing with her what my grandchildren were doing. How big they had grown, when they started school, and all those milestones, as well as the everyday silly things that happened involving the grandchildren. And that intensified four years ago when my only granddaughter arrived. She wanted to know all about her. She did meet her when Maya was about six months old. It was the only time she saw her. It was love at first sight…on both parts. After that visit, my mom wanted to know all about Maya. Was her hair getting darker? Was it curly or straight? How big was she? Was she talking? Walking? And because I didn’t have anyone to share those all important things with, I would not spare a detail. Sometimes I would call her just to tell her some silly thing the kids had done and we would laugh and laugh over it. It was the highlight of our conversations.

And then she died.

And now I miss that again. That’s one of the things that gets to me, almost every day since my mom died at the end of last August. I forget and I reach for the phone to tell her about Maya or about one of the boys and then it hits me. I can’t tell her. I can’t share that with her anymore. I don’t have anyone to share those moments with. I miss my mom. I miss that I can’t get in the car and go see her even thought it is a two day drive. I used to do it when I got to missing her a lot. I can’t anymore. I used to send my sister pictures of the kids by text and ask her to show them to my mom. I used to have pictures printed and mail them to her so she would have my grandchildren with her. I can’t anymore.

I miss her a lot. I miss her for many, many reasons and at so many different times but this is one of the things that gets to me almost every single day. There is something I want to tell her about the kids but she’s no longer here.

Sometimes it takes a long, long time to understand what we hear. Sometimes we don’t get it until we walk in other people’s shoes.

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